Van Riebeeck is a residential neighbourhood in Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality, that has recently experienced a lot of crime. According to the 2014 crime statistics in Van Riebeeck Park, criminal incidents have increased by 20% as compared to 2013 statistics. In order to address this issue, the residents via the home owners association applied for road closures. Koleko Solutions were appointed to count a traffic impact study to evaluate the impact of the proposed road closures.
The objective of the study was therefore to evalute the traffic impact of the proposed road closures. Based on the findings of the investigation, mitigations were proposed to minimise the impact upon the surrounding road network. The study also evaluated the impact of the proposed street closure on pedestrians and public transportation services using the streets.
The study area only comprised of Class 5 access roads. The study area was surrounded by Class 4 roads which provided accessibility to the area. The Class 4 roads had relatively low volumes ranging between 150 and 300 vehicles per hour (vph) in both directions. The proposed road closures affected approximately 45 dwelling units. Although the study area comprised of residential land use rights, educational (a school) and business (medical doctor rooms); only the residential component were affected by the road closure.
Turning movement counts were conducted at several intersections around the study area. The traffic counts were conducted during the AM and PM peak periods. Based on the traffic counts, the peak hour and the existing demand were determined. In order to make the traffic impact study comprehensive, pedestrian and public transportation vehicles (minibus taxis, buses) were also counted along with traffic counts. The geometry of the intersection, including number of lanes, lane configuration, lane widths were recorded, which forms a critical part of a traffic impact study. The intersection control type – signalised, unsignalised were also recorded during the survey.
The traffic model was built using one of the analytical software. The intersections were analysed using the Highway Capacity Manual methodology. Based on the analysis, the Level of Service (LOS) of the intersections under the existing conditions were determined. The traffic from the developments were then re-routed in the traffic model to reflect the expected traffic patterns once the street closures are in place. The traffic impact study compared the intersection operations before and after the street closures. Various indicators such as LOS, volume to capacity ratio, queues, delays, etc were used to compare the two scenarios. A horizon year scenario (2019) was also developed, based on growth in background traffic. Based on the traffic impact assessment, it was found that the proposed road closure had little impact on the intersections and they continued to operate within the Highway Capacity Manual prescribed threshold.
Similarly, the impact of the road closure on pedestrians and public transportation vehicles were evaluated. According to the traffic impact assessment, it was found that the street closure would have no impact on the public transportation system. The traffic impact study also found that the pedestrians were largely unaffected by the proposed road closure. It was found that in certain cases, the walking distance for pedestrians had increased, however, it was well within the National Department of Transport walking distance threshold. In conclusion, the traffic impact study found that proposed road closures would not have a detrimental effect on the road network.
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